Cheap Eats 2016: Sardi’s

Rotisserie chickens at Sardi’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Best for Carryout Extra-Cheap No Alcohol

A busy restaurant isn’t always a sign that a restaurant is good. In the case of pollo a la brasa, however, the surest indication that you’re in for a terrific meal is a line stretching to the door. What that high volume ensures is that the chickens don’t have time to sit in warming ovens, becoming dry. You can be sure Sardi’s will be swarmed when you arrive, no matter the time of day, which means you can also be sure that a bird will be plucked off the spit while you wait, hot and dripping with juice and carved to order in front of you. Hard as it is to resist pinching off a taste or three as you move down the cafeteria-style line, getting your plate accessorized with sides (beans, rice, slaw, plantains), there’s always the marvelous scent of that dark, pepper-rubbed skin to console you. At the Gaithersburg location, you can get a beer, too.

Also good: pollo parriello (butterflied grilled chicken); ceviche.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.